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Windows 10 update is here. Make sure you know these top tips and tricks

We've got Windows 10 hacks like taking a screenshot, setting up taskbar shortcuts and saving battery on your PC now that the May 2021 update is rolling out. Here's what to know.


These Windows 10 tips and tricks can save you time and effort.

Sarah Tew/CNET

TheWindows 10 May 2021 updateis now rolling out to devices, with a few new upgrades. No matter if you're a longtimeWindows 10user or a recent convert (and if you haven'tupgraded to Windows 10, you can still do so for free), you'll find there are tons of new and old tips, tricks and hiddenfeaturesthat are easy to learn and can make working on your laptop smoother.

With the latest update on the way to your machine, it's a good time to master some of your device's productivity features, whether you're using it for work or your personal life. These built-in tricks can help you do everything from set up Taskbar shortcuts to save battery power and get the most out of your machine.

Microsoft不典型宣传其隐藏的特性the way that, say,Appledoes. This can make it more difficult to know how to take advantage of all that Windows 10 has to offer. But we've got you covered.

Even learning how toupgrade to Windows 10 for freecan be tricky. (If you haven't done this already, you really should, sincesupport for Windows 7 ended in 2020.) So no matter whichMicrosoft, Dell, HP or other Windows 10 rig you have, these clever tips will help you stay organized and get more done. Plus, here's everything you need to know about the bigWindows 10 October 2020 update,how to use the three best new Windows 10 featuresandhow to troubleshoot any Windows 10 problems.


If your desktopscreenhas gotten too crowded with openwindows, you can quickly minimize them all except the one you are currently working in.

Just click the title bar of the window you want to remain open to select it. Then, hold the mouse down and move the window back and forth quickly -- shaking it, essentially. After a couple of quick shakes, all other open windows will minimize, leaving only the one you've shaken open. Neat, huh?

Read more:20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want(free PDF from TechRepublic)

2. Open the 'secret' Start menu

You know that to get to the Start menu, you hit the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen or on your keyboard. But Windows 10 includes a lesser-knownsecond Start menuthat makes accessing important features like the Command Prompt, the Control Panel and the Task Manager much easier. You can access it two different ways, either by pressing theWindows key + X, or right click the Windows icon/Start button.

3. Create an event without having to open the Calendar app

Windows 10's latest update lets you quickly add events to your Microsoft calendar directly from your Taskbar -- without actually having to open the calendar at all. Here's how to do it:

Brett Pearce/CNET

1.On your Taskbar, click thebox with the time and date正确的角落。

2. Click the dateyou want to schedule an event.

3.Enter the event name, time and location. (If you have multiplecalendars, click the down arrow next to the event name field to choose the one you want to add it to.)

4.ClickSave. The event should appear in your Calendar app across your devices.

4. Take a screenshot on Windows 10

I know, it's a basic one -- but it's amazing how easy it is to forget how to take a screenshot on your laptop or desktop when you don't do it often.

There are at leasteight different ways you can take a screenshot with Windows 10. If you want to capture and save a picture of your entire screen, the easiest way is to hit theWindows key + Print Screen key, and that picture will be saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.

To capture just one part of your screen, hit theWindows key + Shift + Sto open a tool called Snip & Sketch, which allows you to click and drag to create a screenshot, which is saved to your Clipboard.

Now playing:Watch this:Windows 10 fall 2020 update: Here's what's new

5. Open items from your Taskbar with keyboard shortcuts

If you've pinned programs to your Taskbar at the bottom of your screen to create a shortcut, you don't have to click the icons to open them. Instead, use the keyboard shortcutWindows key + [Number key], with the number key corresponding to the position of the program on the Taskbar. For example, Windows key + 2 will open the second item on the Taskbar.

This is especially useful if you're typing furiously and don't want to lift your fingers from the keyboard. It may feel more natural to reach for the Windows key.

6. Learn how muchspaceappsare taking up

Computers start running slower as they grow short on space. One quick way to speed them up may be to get rid of apps that take up more space than they should, especially if you don't regularly use them.

To see how much space an app uses, navigate toSettings > System > Storage. Click on the drive you want to search (likely the local storage, "This PC"), and clickApps & gamesto see a list of apps installed on your machine and how much space they are taking up. You probably won't get rid of your browser, but you might find that a game you haven't played in years is some good dead weight to drop.

7. Banish ads from your Start menu

When you run Windows 10 with default settings, you may sometimes see apps on the right side of your Start menu. Microsoft calls them "suggestions," but they are actually ads for Windows Store apps you can buy.

衣服ydF4y2Baget rid of ads in your Windows 10 Start menu, go toSettings > Personalization > Start.衣服gle the setting calledShow suggestions occasionally in Startto the off position.

8. Shut down background apps to save battery

Apps that run in the background can receive info, send notifications, and stay updated, even when you aren't using them -- which can be useful, but can also suck your battery and your data, if you're connecting via a mobile hotspot.

To control which apps are running in the background and save some battery power and data, go toSettings > Privacy > Background apps. To stop all apps from running in the background, toggleLet apps run in the backgroundtoOff. Or, you can choose which apps to run in the background individually by going down the list on the same page.

9. Use background scrolling for multiple windows

With Windows 10, you can scroll up and down on any window -- even if it's not the one you're directly working in. This is a useful tool when you have a lot of windows open that you want to look through at the same time -- for example, if you want to open new sub-menu options in new windows to save you time clicking back and forward on the same page.

Try opening two programs -- say, an internet browser page and a notepad or Word document. Arrange both on the screen so you can see at least some of the text on each. While you are in one window, hover your mouse or use the touchpad to move to the second window, and scroll. Even though you aren't active in that window, it should allow you to move up and down the page.

The feature should be on by default, but if it isn't, go toSettings > Devices > Mouse, and toggleScroll inactive windows when I hover over themtoOn. Then you can place your mouse over a window that's in the background and use the scroll wheel to scroll.

10. Show file extensions in File Explorer

Microsoft hides file extensions by default, which makes life difficult for people who need to look for specific types of files, like JPEGs and JPGs. Tosee file extensions in File Explorer, do the following:

1.Go to theSearch barat the bottom of the screen, and type inFile Explorer Options, and click it. (There are a number of other ways to get here too, but that one seems fastest.)

2. In the window that pops up, click theView tab.

3. Uncheck the box that saysHide extensions for known file types. ClickApply, andOK. You should now see file extensions for all files in the File Explorer.

You can also use the File Explorer Options menu to choose to show empty drives, hidden files and folders, and more.

11. Minimize distractions with Focus assist

It's frustrating to try and get work done when you keep getting interrupted with notifications. You can determine how many you get with Focus assist, a tool Windows 10 added in theApril 2018 update.

Set it up by going toSettings > System > Focusassist. Choose from three options:Off(get all notifications from your apps and contacts),Priority(see only selected notifications from a priority list that you customize, and send the rest to your action center), andAlarmsonly (hide all notifications, except for alarms).

You can also choose to automatically turn this feature on during certain hours, or when you're playing a game.

For more Windows 10 laptop tips and tricks, check outhow to fix a slow PC yourself, and6 simple security changes all Windows 10 users need to make.